Friday, October 18, 2013

Fortune Cookie #9 - Whistling in the Dark

Once again, like I do so often, I visited my favorite local Chinese restaurant China Buffet #VI. On this visit, I received the following fortune.

You will always have good luck in your personal affairs.

I blocked out the numbers so no one can win on my fortune.

Now, I do have some things going for me. I am dating a beautiful, intelligent, funny woman. I have great kids. And I am less than a year away from completing my Master's degree.

However, it has been a rough week and I love picking apart these fortunes. So, here goes.

First, I lost a follower after my last post This Crap Stays Between Us. I finally hit the 200 followers mark excluding me from ever having to receive the dreaded Liebster Award again. Immediately after this post, it dropped to 199. I guess some people just don't find poop jokes funny.

Next, two of my favorite shows have ceased to exist. Breaking Bad and Dexter have both aired their final episodes. I'll never be able to see Michael C. Hall as anything but a serial killer. I'll be curious to see what he and Bryan Cranston do next.

My last bit of bad luck, despite what my fortune said, happened just today. Let me give a bit of background first.

I have a bit of a problem with public restrooms. Without going into any gross details, I will try to explain it.

I don't have an issue with urinating. As a man, I don't have to touch any public usage areas to do my business. However, if I have other business to attend to, it involves sitting on a toilet that is not my own. This is not for me, except under the direst of circumstances.

Direst?  Most dire? I don't know which is right. Only in the most extreme circumstances. There we go. I know that's right, because extremist means something else. I guess you could say I'm a fecal extremist.

There are a couple of reasons for this. First, the idea of someone smelling 'me' is petrifying. I just can't handle it. It gets even worse if the people know me. For example, I would never, NEVER do this at work. I will leave and go someplace else if for some extreme reason I just can't wait until I get home. On the rare occasions when I have no choice, I have been known to hide in the stall after my business is done for up to half an hour to ensure that anyone who may have happened to wander in will be long gone before I show my face.

Second, there is the ick factor. What we use toilets for is disgusting. It must be done, but it's pretty gross. Now, my toilet is my toilet. Only a very small number of people use it and I know exactly who they are. I also know how often and how well it has been cleaned. The same cannot be said for any public restroom. The idea of parking my naked rear on the same seat that ANYONE could have sat on before me is unacceptable. They could be carrying any disease, may have any degree of uncleanliness, or possibly even came in contact with one of the cast of Jersey Shore. I just can't take that chance.

My mother tells me I've always had this issue. As a kid, I would get sick when we went on vacation because I would try to hold it until we got home again. Even if that was a week away. I just couldn't do it.

Today was one of those times I was caught away from my house. I had a delivery on the fourth floor of a sparsely occupied office building. When I realized it would not be practical to drive across town to go home, I headed for the sixth floor. The sixth floor only has one office and it is only used during local emergencies, so it is presently vacated. Despite not being at home, this gave the extra privacy I required.

I located the restroom and fumbled for a light switch. Before I found one, the motion activated sensor turned the lights on for me. The stall and bowl looked clean. There were two full rolls of toilet paper and no one around, so I did what I came there to do after giving the toilet a once-over quick cleaning.

Upon finishing, I reached for the paper and heard a click, immediately followed by complete darkness. After a couple of seconds, I remembered the motion activated lights. Apparently, sitting on a toilet is not a high motion activity. At least, not if you're doing it right.

I waved my arms and kicked my legs to no avail. I decided that my movements were not being picked up because the sensor was justifiably outside of the stall.

I quickly pushed the door open to activate the sensor. It didn't work.

I leaned out and waved my arms. Still darkness.

I removed my jacket and waved it outside the stall door. I think it got darker.

I fumbled around and removed the extra roll of toilet paper and tossed it out into the room. Total darkness.

Now, I am not afraid of the dark. That was not the issue, but it was beginning to occur to me just how dark it was. I was in the middle of an office building with no windows. It was total darkness, and the worst part was…I hadn't cleaned myself yet.

Have you ever heard the joke, "How does a blind person know when to stop wiping?" I can now answer that. They don't!

I knew I was not going to get the lights back on without getting up, but I needed to take care of this first. So, I did the best I could. However, without knowing for sure, I wasn't about to pull my pants back up.

With my pants around my knees, I stood up and started out into the room. I got to where I thought the door was, but couldn't feel a wall. The first thing I did find was the automatic hand dryer. For some reason, those things seem much louder when you are deprived of vision.

After walking into three walls and having no idea where the door was or why the lights were not coming back on, it suddenly occurred to me. I have a flashlight app on my phone.


Using my phone, I was able to locate the sensor. It was right by the door and there was a wall separating it from the rest of the room. Only motion going in or out of the room would activate it. Serious design flaw.

I waddled back to the toilet. Now that I had light, I needed to ensure that I had, in fact, cleaned myself properly.

I took one swipe and checked…I was clean!

I'd be an awesome blind guy.

Next time, I think I will try to make it home.


  1. Be happy that you're not a girl who has to work half an hour away from home. Every day I work a double shift, I end up needing to pee but not being able to go home. I've always hated public bathrooms but now that I'm thinking they might have come in contact with somebody from Jersey Shore, I'm terrified of it. Maybe I should stop drinking anything at all while working.

    On the bright side, the lights usually always stay on and I'm not trapped in total darkness.

    1. You should try it with the lights out. It's a whole different experience.

  2. "Any port in a storm." that's my motto and it has served me well. No weird diseases either. Oh..and by the's "under threat of dire consequences'.

  3. I'm just like you. Just like you. I was waiting for someone to come into the bathroom as you were running around the bathroom with your pants around your ankles. I'm just saying.

    Have a fabulous day. :)

    1. I am happy to know that it is just not me. Makes me feel like less of a freak. Or maybe, you are just a freak as well.

  4. (I like Sandee's comment.)
    First, it would appear there's a misunderstanding. That fortune actually reads "You will always have good luck in you." with a random comment - or reminder? - "Personal affairs." I cannot fathom the second comment, but the first part might mean that the good luck is trapped in you. Perhaps it's the name of a germ or tapeworm? Just a thought.

    I hope you don't lose followers for writing about this *genuine* crap! This honestly made me laugh out loud...a lot. You crack me up.

    1. If that good luck was trapped inside me, I guess it's a good thing I let it out when I did. Although, it sure didn't feel lucky.

  5. I've been forced to use some restrooms that I would have preferred using in the dark, except for the eyes glowing in the corners.

    1. I found a few on the beaches in Puerto Rico that I was afraid to even step into, much less actually use.

  6. Sorry, but HAHAHAHA - oh, this is just lovely!
    At my old job there was one bathroom, unisex, for 80+ people in IT field .. 6 of which women.
    Middle. Of. The. Open. Floor. Plan. Not fun.
    Designer of that particular hell ought to be shot in a tit.
    In my current office building there is a 2nd floor library (which nobody ever uses) with a lovely bathroom facilities (which nobody knows about), so .. That's that.
    Otherwise life would be unbearable.

    1. That would have been petrifying. Luckily, you found the extra bathroom. I would almost have to quit.

  7. Whoa, that reminds me of why I don't like public toilets! Too true!Thanks for sharing!

  8. Based on the hit show, CSI, all public restrooms are covered in a thin film of semen.

    You're right to be afraid... Be very afraid.



  9. I hear Bruce Springsteen singing "Wiping In the Dark" now. ;)

    1. Good one. I'll never hear that song the same way again.

  10. I've been away for quite a while (not in general, just from your blog), and since I now have an account, I followed you so you'd be back up to 200. Although I now feel that I know WAY TOO MUCH about your

    Cheers; hope you and the lovely Ms. Red are doing well. :)

    1. Thank you for returning. I haven't written in a little over 2 months, so you probably haven't missed much. I will be writing another post today. Things seem to have settled down now.

      Red and I are doing wonderfully. I will address that in today's post.

  11. I never heard of anyone who sounded more in need of thoss Japanese toilets that have a sensor in them to tell when and where to direct the jet of water and blow dryer. Mind you, it would be disturbing if THOSE sensors didn't work.

    1. That would be disturbing. Of course, I'm not yet used to the idea of using those to begin with.


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